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View Full Version : Recording .wav and .mp3 files from a keyboard.


Melash
January 24th, 2010, 04:09 PM
I actually have a Casio Wk-200 keyboard that I has a USB port to connect it to computers. I'm running Vista Basic on this laptop, and I would like to find a program that can record .wav or .mp3 files directly from the keyboard. Actually, any file format other than MIDI would be just fine. Does anyone know of a freeware program that will allow you to do that?

twocows
January 24th, 2010, 08:47 PM
I actually have a Casio Wk-200 keyboard that I has a USB port to connect it to computers. I'm running Vista Basic on this laptop, and I would like to find a program that can record .wav or .mp3 files directly from the keyboard. Actually, any file format other than MIDI would be just fine. Does anyone know of a freeware program that will allow you to do that?
I don't feel like looking, but I'll point you in the right direction. You're going to want to look for some program (possibly available from Casio) that lets you make macros and assign them to keys.

Also, you should definitely encode to AAC or Vorbis rather than MP3 unless you plan to redistribute the audio.

Melash
January 27th, 2010, 08:57 PM
I don't feel like looking, but I'll point you in the right direction. You're going to want to look for some program (possibly available from Casio) that lets you make macros and assign them to keys.

Also, you should definitely encode to AAC or Vorbis rather than MP3 unless you plan to redistribute the audio.
I suppose basically any file format will work, just not midi format.

twocows
January 27th, 2010, 09:05 PM
I suppose basically any file format will work, just not midi format.
You can't record to midi, it's a generated format; you program the file and the computer reads what you wrote and plays it. Wav is a recorded audio file, and AAC, Vorbis, and MP3 are encoded formats that compress the file a bit (they use lossy compression, so it loses some quality, but with AAC and Vorbis, it's rarely noticeable).

Melash
January 27th, 2010, 09:12 PM
You can't record to midi, it's a generated format; you program the file and the computer reads what you wrote and plays it. Wav is a recorded audio file, and AAC, Vorbis, and MP3 are encoded formats that compress the file a bit (they use lossy compression, so it loses some quality, but with AAC and Vorbis, it's rarely noticeable).Sorry about the mistake on midi...generating. I did realize that, I just incorrectly posted.

Petie
January 27th, 2010, 09:42 PM
People and their technicalities on this forum... Let me give you an answer that may actually help you but let me preface it with the fact that since I have no experience with that particular model of keyboard, this reply is far short of expert.

As far as I'm aware, you cannot record pure audio through that USB port. That is likely there to allow you to pass midi data to and from the keyboard. That being said, you have two options.

First, record it as midi. Yes, it's possible and phrased correctly because recording, at its root, means to take down information and that is exactly what midi is - a series of steps with specific information that can be played back at a later time. Once you have that midi, depending on the software you're using and what hardware you have at your disposal, you can play back the midi through Windows and record its output as an mp3 or whatever file format you want to use. This generally will require patching the output of your sound card back into your computer in a simple setup and then using something like Audacity (which I mention because it's free) to record that input. There are programs that you can download that will "convert" midi to mp3 but I wouldn't recommend them since the engines they use to play the midi usually aren't as good as the one built into Windows. Oh, and for the record, and mp3 encoded at 320 kbps is, in essence, loss-less.

Your other option, which is a little more complicated if you don't have the proper hardware, is to make use of the headphones/audio out jack on your keyboard. This outputs pure audio which can be recorded directly using something like Audacity (again, I mention this specifically because it's free and fairly easy to use - it is by no means your only choice). Doing it this way will definitely give you a better result but you'll need some hardware to support it. At the very least, you'll need a cable that you can connect between the audio out on your keyboard (likely a 1/4" jack though if it's 1/8" your life is easier - 1/8" is the size of the connector on a normal pair of portable headphones as a point of reference) to the mic input on your computer's sound card. You're looking for either an 1/8" line cable or a 1/4" to 1/8" line cable (which may be hard to find in which case you should get the 1/8" cable and an 1/8" to 1/4" adapter if necessary - it depends on the size of the output on your keyboard), both in stereo.

Optimally though, you'd want an actual recording interface which will give you a better analog to digital conversion. Unfortunately, these tend to be expensive and are probably out of the scope of your project. I just included them for reference. Your best bet is option 2 as you can pick up the cable pretty cheap from Radio Shack or Amazon and it will get you up and running quickly. If you wanted high quality recordings though, you may be in for a bit of an investment.

I hope this helped but please feel free to let me know if you need anything further explained.

Melash
January 27th, 2010, 10:34 PM
Thank you very much for that response. Now that I think about it, I may already have an adapter and a cable to connect my keyboard directly into a mic input. I will give it a try sometime later tomorrow and hopefully get successful results. Thank you for all of the help, I will reply soon.

Petie
January 27th, 2010, 11:08 PM
I'll go through this all point by point.

Yes, because what I said was purely technical and not at all an attempt to help him (a) fix his problem, and (b) get better quality audio. Perhaps you should try being self-righteous when your post actually makes any sense?
Outside of your first post making reference to a possible solution to a misunderstood question, you made no effort to provide any relevant advice. Instead, you antagonized the OP over a choice in words when in reality, recording is a perfectly acceptable term to use in this case, especially if I understood the original question correctly. So, before you go making blanket accusations, make sure you have your facts straight too. I don't mean this to turn into a war - simply to help the OP with his problem - the point of this thread if you'll recall.

Though perhaps I'm misunderstanding what TS means, I believe he's asking how to assign a key to record data.
From what I understood of the question, he's looking for a way to record the audio coming from his keyboard, plain and simple. No macros are necessary here and this is not a one key operation. It's a matter of getting audio from point A to point B. OP, please correct me if I'm wrong here.

That said, your post still makes no sense. First of all, a USB port can pass any kind of data that a peripheral gives it.
USB can indeed be used to pass any kind of data it is given but in the case of this keyboard and my experience with other electric keyboards, I imagine that this USB port is included as a way to do midi out in a simpler way than with an actual midi cable. It is not a universal port to be used however its user desires.

And passing midi data? Uh, what? MIDI files are synthesized audio files; I can guarantee there isn't a keyboard in existence that has anything to do with them.
Wrong and wrong. Midi files are simply data files storing a variety of information about a particular event. This information includes, but is not limited to, the duration, key, and volume of a particular note. A midi file contains zero audio and is only synthesized in the sense that it is created by either placing notes on a staff in a midi editor or, and this one may come as a surprise, recording them from a midi device, like an electric keyboard. Look on the back of just about any electric keyboard and you will see at least a midi out if not a midi in as well. At the heart of the keyboard is a synthesizer so you were right to a certain extent but this synth is used to interpret the data it's given either by key press or via midi cable from some other sort of controller like a computer. So, in short, electric keyboards are just about the center of the midi world - far from having nothing to do with it. What you play can be sent and captured over midi and while this is what he would like to avoid, it is a valid first step to reaching his final goal.

From there, your post becomes increasingly more incomprehensible. You mix in things that are true (like unnecessarily high bitrate MP3 being high enough quality to avoid listening artifacts, though it is still NOT lossless) with stuff that doesn't seem to make any sense (why would you even TRY to RECORD something as MIDI? WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? he even said he doesn't want a MIDI file, a suggestion I completely understand). I can't even understand what the question you're trying to answer is, to be honest.
I said that high-bitrate mp3s are in essence lossless, not that they were in fact completely lossless. Context is important. As for recording to midi, there are many reasons and one of them is automation. Besides musical notes, midi can record event triggers and you can use these triggers in a number of ways. In addition to that, recording as a midi allows you to see the notes you played on a staff so if you were playing something by ear and wanted sheet music with it, you could actually generate it by playing the music itself. You need to fully understand a format before you can criticize it. As for the question at hand, like I said above, I believe that he simply wanted to record audio from his keyboard - a thought that is reinforced by his last reply.

As for TS, I'll make a small suggestion; perhaps you should rephrase what it is you want. If you want to assign recording to a macro, take my initial suggestion and look for the software your manufacturer has to let you do it, or some sort of alternative. If you want to record speech or music something, use your built-in microphone or buy a new one and a recording program to record as WAV, then encode it in AAC/Vorbis (if you're just going to listen), or FLAC (a lossless format that won't lose quality) if you're going to redistribute it.
If he is indeed looking for a way to assign macros then you are entirely correct with your suggestion. However, if that is not the case then the suggestions I gave him above are completely valid, especially the second one. I also won't argue your choices of format but that's really a personal choice. In this case, all he's doing is a recording from a keyboard and if that's the case, mp3 should suit him fine as there is not enough being generated to fully warrant a lossless codec (though using one, of course, would not hurt either). Again, I never intended this to start any kind of war. My reply was only designed to attempt to give a valid response to the original question asked and not try to fault the poster for something that wasn't even wrong. If you took that as a personal attack, I'm sorry. I was simply trying to make a point.

twocows
January 27th, 2010, 11:20 PM
I'll go through this all point by point.


Outside of your first post making reference to a possible solution to a misunderstood question, you made no effort to provide any relevant advice. Instead, you antagonized the OP over a choice in words when in reality, recording is a perfectly acceptable term to use in this case, especially if I understood the original question correctly. So, before you go making blanket accusations, make sure you have your facts straight too. I don't mean this to turn into a war - simply to help the OP with his problem - the point of this thread if you'll recall.
Explain to me how I antagonized TS at all. Here is what I said:
"You can't record to midi, it's a generated format; you program the file and the computer reads what you wrote and plays it."
Hmm, looks to me like I'm clarifying something. I see zero antagonizing going on. And I go on to suggest some solutions for getting better audio quality.


A bunch of stuffNow that I think about it, I believe I misunderstood what he meant by "keyboard;" it's unfortunate that a musical instrument uses the same word as a typing peripheral. Given the context, I assumed he meant the kind of keyboard that types things (albeit a fancy one), and I suppose it makes sense that things could be "recorded" as MIDI, in a matter of speaking.


If he is indeed looking for a way to assign macros then you are entirely correct with your suggestion. However, if that is not the case then the suggestions I gave him above are completely valid, especially the second one. I also won't argue your choices of format but that's really a personal choice. In this case, all he's doing is a recording from a keyboard and if that's the case, mp3 should suit him fine as there is not enough being generated to fully warrant a lossless codec (though using one, of course, would not hurt either). Again, I never intended this to start any kind of war. My reply was only designed to attempt to give a valid response to the original question asked and not try to fault the poster for something that wasn't even wrong. If you took that as a personal attack, I'm sorry. I was simply trying to make a point.I take it as a personal attack when I offer advice that places like Best Buy charge money for, for free, and in my spare time, and I get antagonized for it.

Petie
January 28th, 2010, 06:33 AM
Explain to me how I antagonized TS at all. Here is what I said:
"You can't record to midi, it's a generated format; you program the file and the computer reads what you wrote and plays it."
Hmm, looks to me like I'm clarifying something. I see zero antagonizing going on. And I go on to suggest some solutions for getting better audio quality.


Now that I think about it, I believe I misunderstood what he meant by "keyboard;" it's unfortunate that a musical instrument uses the same word as a typing peripheral. Given the context, I assumed he meant the kind of keyboard that types things (albeit a fancy one), and I suppose it makes sense that things could be "recorded" as MIDI, in a matter of speaking.


I take it as a personal attack when I offer advice that places like Best Buy charge money for, for free, and in my spare time, and I get antagonized for it.
I don't feel like breaking up the quote this time around but okay, re-reading though the thread after a good night's sleep, I can see where I may have taken what you said out of context. When I first read it, it just seemed to me that instead of actually addressing the issue, you were focusing on a tiny mistake in phrasing rather than the question at hand but what you said makes more sense in the context of what you thought the question was.

And yeah, I actually realized that might have been what happened after finishing my post. I can see where you got that from and I guess I just jumped to the musical instrument because I have one myself.

Like I said, I really didn't mean it as a personal attack so to speak. I was more just questioning why you were, the way I was looking at it at the time, going after him for something so small. So, let's just call this a truce, accept the fact that we both offered some useful advice that should hopefully solve the problem, and move on.